Thursday, January 17, 2019

Review: Katrina Ferguson in 'Moon Over Buffalo' at North Coast Rep-

"Arthur Hanket and Katrina Ferguson steal the show as the battling spouses George and Charlotte"

 Arthur Hanket and Katrina Ferguson in a scene from North Coast Repertory Theatre's "Moon Over Buffalo." (Aaron Rumley)

Pam Kragen Contact Reporter


If you’re looking for Shakespeare in San Diego, head to the Old Globe. New plays? Check out La Jolla Playhouse. But if you’re a fan of farce, there’s no local theater better for the fast-paced comedies than North Coast Repertory Theatre.

Over the past 15 years, the Solana Beach theater has built a loyal following for these silly, door-slamming shows, like this month’s “Moon Over Buffalo,” which opened Saturday night.

The Ken Ludwig backstage comedy has all the elements necessary for a crowd-pleasing show — a strong cast, a good door-lined set, well-paced direction and the effervescent atmosphere required to keep its lightweight script aloft.

“Moon” is the fourth farce Matthew Wiener has directed at North Coast, beginning with Ludwig’s similar backstage comedy “Lend Me a Tenor” in 2011. Comparing the two, Wiener’s direction of “Moon” is much stronger, more uniform, naturalistic and less over the top.

Set in 1953, “Moon” is the story of a failing touring repertory company headed by married actors George and Charlotte Hay. At a theater in in Buffalo, N.Y., the tour collapses after the Hays’ daughter, Rosalind, leaves the company following a breakup with the tour manager, Paul; George impregnates the new ingenue, Eileen; and Charlotte decides to leaves George for their attorney, Richard.

Add to this a bottle of whiskey, an unexpected visit from film director Frank Capra and a case of mistaken identity and you’ve got enough high jinks for two hours of laughs.

North Coast Rep newcomers Arthur Hanket and Katrina Ferguson steal the show as the battling spouses George and Charlotte. They’re both ebullient and expansive in their engaging “show people” performances and they’re naturals at the punchy, period-style dialogue. Hanket also pulls off believably an extended and difficult drunken scene.

Back for her fourth farce at North Coast is Jacque Wilke as the Hays’ headstrong and exasperated daughter Rosalind. Wilke co-starred in Wiener’s “Lend Me a Tenor” eight years ago, and in 2008 she made a memorable local breakthrough in the farce “Don’t Dress for Dinner,” also at North Coast Rep.

Matthew Salazar-Thompson returns for his third farce at North Coast, starting with Ludwig’s “Leading Ladies” in 2006. In “Moon,” he plays the Hays’ lovesick but amiable lawyer, Richard.

Completing the cast are Roxane Carrasco as Charlotte’s hard-of-hearing mother, Ethel, who’s the tour costume manager. Josh Braaten plays tour manager Paul. Arusi Santi is Rosalind’s tongue-tied new boyfriend, Howard; and Brittney Bertier is the unexpectedly pregnant actress Eileen.

As he has for all of North Coast’s farces, resident scenic designer Marty Burnett created the show-within-a-show set: a tidy backstage area with a central turntable to show the action that occurs onstage at Buffalo’s Erlanger Theatre.

The only misstep in Wiener’s fleet-footed stage direction is repeatedly sending the actors through the wrong doors clearly labeled dressing rooms and stage right.

Matt Novotny designed lighting, Elisa Benzoni created costumes and Melanie Chen Cole designed sound.

There’s nothing surprising or groundbreaking in North Coast’s tried-and-true formula with “Moon,” but it’s a solid entry in the company’s long history of farce.
When: 7 p.m. Wednesdays; 8 p.m. Thursdays-Fridays; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays; 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays. Through Feb. 10.
Where: North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach
Tickets: $45-$56 (discounts available)

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

After the Revolution by Amy Herzog at Circle Players


Circle Players and director Alicia Harabin of Somerville are proud to present the third production of our 2018-2019 season, After the Revolution by Amy Herzog.

Emma Joseph is a bright, hard-working, law school graduate continuing her family’s business of fighting for progressive ideals. She founded the Joe Joseph Fund four years ago, named for her grandfather who was blacklisted during the McCarthy era for refusing to name names. A curveball comes hurdling Emma’s way, however, when she finds out that her grandfather may have been passing information to Russians while working for the US government; a fact that was hidden from her by her father for her whole life, and one that calls into question her whole ideology.


· Fridays: February 1st and 15th at 8:00pm

· Saturdays: February 2nd, 9th, and 16th at 8:00pm

· Sundays: February 10th and 17th at 3:00pm

Tickets are $20 for adults/$18 for seniors/students.

A complimentary wine and cheese reception will be held following the opening night performance, and a talkback will be held following the Sunday, February 10th performance.


· Emma - Melissa Mugica of Edison

· Ben - Mike Johnson of Hillsborough

· Leo - Stephen Mennella of Somerset

· Mel - Megan O’Brien of Rahway

· Jess - Meghan Coates of Clinton

· Vera - Susan Schwirck of Monroe

· Morty - Martin Honig of Somerset

· Miguel - Victor Martinez of Mount Laurel

The theater is located at 416 Victoria Avenue, Piscataway. Please be advised: due to the unique layout of this theater in the round, latecomers cannot be seated after the performance has started. Please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before curtain.

For reservations, call (732) 968-7555, or buy tickets online at

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Katrina Ferguson in Ken Ludwig’s ‘Moon Over Buffalo’ at North Coast Rep

Arthur-Hanket-_-Katrina-Ferguson-photo-by-Aaron-RumleyNORTH COAST REP GREETS NEW YEAR
Performances Beginning Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Extended Through Sunday, February 10, 2019
Directed By Matthew Wiener

Moon-over-Buffalo-FINAL-600w-300x334Solana Beach, CA – For its initial play of 2019, North Coast Rep is pulling out all the stops with an old-fashioned knockabout farce, MOON OVER BUFFALO. Written by comedy genius Ken Ludwig (Lend Me a Tenor), this laugh-a-minute show-within-a-show is an evening of mayhem filled with comic inventions and running gags, with everyone in the wrong costumes reading the wrong lines. Hailed by the New York Post as “one of the most hysterical things ever put on a stage,” this play is a love letter to live theatre that will leave audiences exhausted from laughter.

Front_-Katrinia-Ferguson-_-Roxane-Carrasco_-Back_-Josh-Braaten-and-Jacque-Wilke-photo-by-Aaron-RumleyMatthew Wiener directs Brittney Bertier,* Josh Braaten, Roxane Carrasco,* Katrina Ferguson,* Arthur Hanket,* Matthew Salazar-Thompson, Arusi Santi,* and Jacque Wilke.* The design team includes Marty Burnett (Scenic Design), Matthew Novotny (Lighting), Melanie Chen Cole+(Sound), Elisa Benzoni (Costumes) and Peter Herman (Hair and Wigs). Aaron Rumley* is Props and the Stage Manager.

*The actor or stage manager appears through the courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States.

Josh-Braaten-_-Katrina-Ferguson-Photo-by-Aaron-RumleyMOON OVER BUFFALO previews began Wednesday, January 9. Opening Night on Saturday, January 12, at 8pm. There will be a special talkback on Friday, January 18, with the cast and artistic director. It will play Wednesdays at 7pm, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2pm with Sundays at 7pm and extended through February 10, 2019. There is a Wednesday matinee January 30 at 2pm. (See schedule below.) North Coast Repertory Theatre is located at 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach, 92075. Tickets: Previews- $45, Week Nights – $52; Sat. Eve. & Sun. Mat. $56; Sat. Mat. & Sun Night – $49. By popular demand, a Wednesday Matinee has been added on January 30 at 2pm – $52. Seniors, Students, Military & Educators – $3 off admission. There is also a $20 rush for tickets 15 minutes before performance if available.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Review: ‘Doubt’ at Barn Theatre–WOW!


Four years ago we opened a review with these remarks: “After several years and 200 plus play reviews we still marvel that the line between professional and community theater in New Jersey is so frequently blurred. We consistently experience theater excellence at The Chatham Playhouse, The Barn Theatre in Montville and The Chester Theatre Group, for example.  And, from performers such as David Cantor, Noreen Farley, Michael King, Chip Prestera, Barbara Haug, Steve Nitka, Jeff Jackson, Carla Kendall, and Dale Monroe… mention just a few of the outstanding talent our area is blessed with.”

Well, we continue to experience theater excellence….particularly yesterday at the Rob Nissen directed production of John Patrick Shanley' Pulitzer Prize winning play, Doubt at the Barn Theatre in Montville..

It is a perfect example of the 'blur.' The play is a unique, and fascinating take on the pedophile controversy that continues to challenge the church.  This production could easily transition to an Off-Broadway venue and win its share of raves.

Many readers will remember the powerful film version with Meryl Streep, the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and Viola Davis. The film's four main actors were all nominated for Oscars at the 81st Academy Awards.

The plot: Sister Aloysius (Carla Kendall), the strict principal of St. Nicolas Elementary School, learns that Father Flynn (Greg Allen), the new priest, has met with the school’s first black student in private. Minus any real evidence she is certain that he has molested the boy, she determines to get him removed from the parish. Their battle and the boy’s story cast doubt not only on the priest, but on the church, personal conviction, and faith itself.

48377687_10155749335471574_7331149655444553728_oTo succeed in removing Father Flynn she enlists a reluctant young nun (Kathleen Mallon) and the boy’s mother (Leslie Silverman).   To say, Carla Kendall’s Sister Aloysius’ powerful, forceful, unrelenting attack of the priest is exciting theater is an understatement. Kendall was excellent as Maria Callas in Master Class at the Barn several seasons ago, but this performance exceeds that widely acclaimed effort. It is a bit of a theater cliché….but her performance alone is worth the price of admission. Playing Father Flynn is a Barn veteran Greg Allen. (Cal in last season’s Mothers and Sons).He is spot-on as the sensitive and caring priest. He particularly excels when he is sparring with the determined principal. Kathleen Mallon’s young Sister James is the perfect innocent who is conflicted by her enjoyment of teaching and Sister Aloysius' doctrine that children should fear, not love their nuns.

48356155_10155749319186574_160129020883632128_oLeslie Silverman is excellent in the role of Mrs. Muller, the black boy's very protective mother. Her dramatic confrontation with the principal who threatens to expel her son for "his own good" is a pivotal scene, beautifully executed.

In short; this is a truly remarkable production with a terrific cast that for any lover of fine theater is a "must-see" event.

Reviewed by Rick Busciglio  January 13, 2019

The key creative team includes: Samantha Haas stage manager; Lawrence Gabriel set design and décor (impressive set; JP Bedell lighting design; Ray Nissen original music; Larry Wilbur sound design; Marie Bogert, Alli Hartley-Kong props; Rob Nissen costumes. The producers are Cheryl Bookstaver and Janice Schopper.

Doubt, started on Friday, January 11th and runs through Sunday, February 2, 2019. Performances are Friday and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm. Tickets are $20.00 with a discounted price of $18.00 for seniors over 65 and students under 18 on Sunday.

The Barn Theatre is located on Skyline Drive in Montville, NJ, just minutes off Exit 47 from Route 287. For more reservations, information or directions, call The Barn Theatre Box Office at (973) 334-9320, or visit The Barn Theatre on the web at

Top Photo :   Greg Allen and Carla Kendall,

[Photographs by Tom Schopper]

Sunday, January 13, 2019

NJ REP–New Season !



Twenty years ago, Lissie and Roger fled from their family farm and made themselves disappear. But the family secrets haunt them still.  A funeral and a question from an old friend send the two siblings tumbling down a rabbit hole of memory and grief, as they try to let go of a tangled past that refuses to release them. A National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere by E. M. Lewis, directed by Zoya Kachadurian and starring Kersti Bryan, Richard Kent Green, Christopher M. Smith.

January 10 - February 10, 2019

Kersti Bryan

Richard Kent Green

Christopher M. Smith

Media czar Roland McCabe owns dozens of newspapers around the globe, not to mention the most powerful and influential cable news network in the world: and his empire is about to grow. But when a controversy from the past threatens to topple it all, he summons his son as well as his most trusted protege to diffuse the crisis, regardless of how they might feel about it.  A World Premiere and Winner of an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award by Jack Canfora, directed by Evan Bergman The Source stars Eleanor Handley, Conan McCarty, Andrew Rein.

March 7 - April 7, 2019

Eleanor Handley

Conan McCarty

Andrew Rein

Jodi Long

The story of a popular husband and wife nightclub act of the 40's and 50's narrated and framed by the experiences of their daughter. Combining a family story with show business history and the ravages of racism, "Surfing My DNA" is a story of humor, passion, and perseverance against insurmountable odds. Written and performed by Jodi Long, and directed by Eric Rosen. LIMITED ENGAGEMENT!

May 2 - May 26, 2019

In the far future, a discovery is made which upends everything humanity has been led to believe. Meanwhile, in the 1970s, a pair of researchers on the Voyager One Golden Record project find themselves debating the very role humanity has to play in the universe. A World Premiere by Jared Michael Delaney, directed by Evan Bergman.

June 20 - July 21, 2019

A Soviet journalist with the gift of total recall. A psychologist seeking to rehabilitate herself. A government censor with a secret past. Over two decades, their fates become entwined as victims and collaborators in Stalin’s campaign to rewrite public memory. A National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere by D.W. Gregory, directed by James Glossman.

August 15 - September 15, 2019

Aging country superstar Toby Crenshaw is ready for his usual post-performance "meet and greet" with a line of eager, young groupies. But when the first girl to enter turns out to be far more than Toby can handle, he finds himself in an impossible situation. A World Premiere by Christopher Daftsios, directed by Sarah Norris.

October 24 - November 24, 2019


Saturday, January 12, 2019

Opera at Florham Event Tonight

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Audition: We are still looking to fill three key roles!

Holmdel Theatre Company is excited to continue our tradition of bringing classic plays to our stage for new audiences!

Life is a Dream

Written by Pedro Calderón de la Barca

Directed by Chris Szczerbienski and Laurie Devino

We are still looking to fill three key roles!

Segismundo- late teens to early 30s the barbaric prince who is tested to see whether he would make a good king. Intimidating presence.

Basilio- Segismundo's father 40+. Wise and caring sage.

Clotaldo- 30+ Basilio's general. Loyal but conflicted when dealing with a matter of family vs king.


Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

7:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Please email us to set an appointment.


March 29th, 30th, 31st, April 5th, 6th, 7th, 12th, 13th, 14th

Life is a Dream by Pedro Calderón de la Barca. First published in 1635 during the Spanish Baroque period. Pedro Caderón de la Barca was born during the Spanish Golden Age of theatre, he developed it further, his work being regarded as the culmination of the Spanish Baroque theatre. He is regarded as one of Spain's foremost dramatists and one of the finest playwrights of world literature.

Life is a Dream tells the story of Segismundo, Prince of Poland, who has been imprisoned in a tower by his father, King Basilio, following a dire prophecy that the prince would bring disaster to the country and death to the King. Basilio briefly frees Segismundo, but when the prince goes on a rampage, the king imprisons him again, persuading him that it was all a dream

The Duncan Smith Theater

182 Crawfords Corner Rd.

Holmdel, NJ 07733

(The white barn on the grounds of Holmdel High School)

Leonia Arts to Present 'Speakeasy' Benefit Jazz Concert Featuring Cenovia Cummins & Friends


Travel back in time to the Roaring '20s at the Leonia Arts' 'Speakeasy', a live benefit jazz concert with the Cenovia Cummins & Friends band to support the organization's 2019 art initiatives. Leonia Arts, a nonprofit cultural arts alliance in the borough of Leonia, New Jersey, presents the special event on Sunday, January 20, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. at the American Legion Hall (American Legion Post #1), located at 399 Broad Avenue in the borough.

The event features an instrumental jazz performance with six Broadway, New York City orchestra, and recording musicians. Led by composer, violinist, and pianist Cenovia Cummins, the program of original compositions also presents Stephanie Cummins, cello; Eric Weidman, clarinet and saxophone; Ray Jacob, drums; Ray Kilday, bass; and Rachel Handman, violin.


Guests are invited to wear creative festive dress. Prizes will be awarded for the best 1920’s or jazz inspired fashion. Professional event photographer Matt Dine will be onsite and take photographs of guests in their Speakeasy attire.


Tickets are now on sale for individuals and groups of ten. The early bird sale is $40 for individuals through January 11 and afterward for $45. Group tickets for a table of ten are available for $400. For additional information and to purchase a ticket, go to the organization's website,

A ticket purchase includes admission to the event, entertainment, a light fare of tasting platters, and one signature cocktail or wine, beer, and non-alcoholic cocktail. Complimentary soft drink beverages will also be available. Guests will have an opportunity to attend a post-performance mixer and see art works on display by visual artists from Leonia.

"The Leonia Arts 'Speakeasy' is the perfect remedy for a cold January night. Gather with friends, warm your spirits, listen to great instrumental jazz, and support the arts - locally!" stated

Dan Pacek, Vice President, Leonia Arts.

Gallery opening for Exit 70A's  show "No Entry" at Fairleigh Dickinson University Petrocelli College of Continuing Studies. The show, which features work by Leonia artists, encompases  different mediums and diverse styles from abstract paintings in oil, watercolor and acrylic, to photography. Exit 70A is comprised of (L-R) James Leynse, Katharina Castiblanco Grammer, Vince Priblo, Pam Fenwick, Ronald Pancrazi, Marsha Heller, Steve Swank, Elizabeth DeMarco, Nanda van Ginkel and Paul Leibow.

Founded in 2005, Leonia Arts supports the borough of Leonia's artists and arts organizations by promoting events, encouraging collaborations, and connecting with art enthusiasts. The winter fundraiser will assist several 2019 initiatives highlighting the arts in the borough. These include a community wide art project, the Leonia Arts Fair featuring local artists, and the Suzanne Pancrazi Memorial Scholarship for artistic achievement awarded to a graduating senior at Leonia High School.

For more information about the 'Speakeasy' benefit and the cultural alliance's work in the community, contact Visit for additional information about the organization, to join Leonia Arts, to view a calendar of upcoming arts events, and much more.

Photos .

1) Prominent musician Cenovia Cummins to perform at Leonia Arts' 'Speakeasy'

2) Cenovia Cummins & Friends (left to right):  Eric Weidman, clarinet and saxophone; Rachel Handman, violin; Ray Kilday, bass; Cenovia Cummins, piano; Stephanie Cummins, cello; Ray Jacob, drums

3) Visual artists will display their work at Leonia Arts' 'Speakeasy'. Artists shown (left to right): James Leynse, Tina Castiblanco Grammer, Vincent Priblo, Pamela Fenwick, Ronald Pancrazi, Marsha Heller, Steven Swank, Elizabeth C. Demarco, Nanda Van Ginkel, Paul Leibow

Photo credit: James Leynse

This Sunday at 7pm LOST IN YONKERS Chatham $5 Play Reading Series

The Chatham Community Players

The Chatham Community Players is excited to present Neil Simon’s, Lost In Yonkers as a part of their successful play reading series, “Sundays at 7”. One Night ONLY – Sunday, January 13, 2019 at 7:00 at the Chatham Playhouse, 23 North Passaic Avenue, in Chatham. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door.  Salvador Navarro directs.  BYOB.

Written by America's great comic playwright, this memory play is set in Yonkers in 1942. Bella is thirty-five years old, mentally challenged, and living at home with her mother, stern Grandma Kurnitz. As the play opens, ne'er-do-well son Eddie deposits his two young sons on the old lady's doorstep. He is financially strapped and taking to the road as a salesman. The boys are left to contend with Grandma, with Bella and her secret romance, and with Louie, her brother, a small-time hoodlum in a strange new world called Yonkers.

The Cast:

Light snacks provided, patrons are encouraged to BYOB.

Funding has been made possible in part by the Arts Council of the Morris Area through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

‘Blacklist’ Actor in One-Act Comedy at Hackensack Performing Arts Center to support live professional theatre in Bergen County

FundraiserFlyer - Updated

Fair Lawn resident Teddy Coluca who plays Mr. Brimley on NBC’s The Blacklist is producing and leading the ensemble in The Company Theatre Group’s Winter One-Act Comedy Festival at The HACPAC. This is a 2 night only special production featuring veterans of The Company as well as new faces. Shows are Saturday, January 26 at 8pm and Sunday, January 27 at 3pm. All tickets are only $20. Managing Artistic Director Lou Scarpati and Ken Melamed will direct the four one-acts by writers Richard Vetere and Michael Schwartz.

An associate Member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, The Company Theatre Group is the only professional theatre company in residence at the HACPAC located at 102 State Street Hackensack, NJ.

Mr. Coluca has appeared in multiple commercials, TV shows (The Blacklist, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Blue Bloods, Bull, and the Netflix Series The Good Cop) and films (The Week Of (Adam Sandler), Hot Air (Steve Coogan & Neve Campbell) and the Independent films The Mimic, Abe & Low Tide). He is a proud member of The Company and appeared in their productions of Breaking Legs and The Underpants.

Visit for details.


Donna Avery

Teddy Coluca*

Danielle Cornell

Mandy Evans*

Anna Gundersen

Lincoln Hayes*

Larissa Lamont

Tony Lombardi

David Neal

Andrea Prendamano

Tait Ruppert*

Jonathan Salmond

Elizabeth Synnott*

*Member of Actors’ Equity. We express our gratitude to the ACTORS’ EQUITY ASSOCIATION through Theatre Authority, Inc. for their cooperation in permitting the Artists to appear on this program

Creative Team:

Lou Scarpati Director

Ken Melamed Director

Teddy Coluca Producer

Frank Borelli Lights/Sound

Kathi Nubile Props/Décor/Set

Frank Costello Props/Décor/Set

Lois Leitner Props/Décor/Set

Founded in 2007, The Company Theatre Group is a non-profit, professional company of actors,
writers, and directors in residence at The Hackensack Performing Arts Center, Hackensack, NJ.

Drawing inspiration from the acclaimed Group Theatre, The Company is dedicated to developing and nurturing artists in an imaginative and safe setting, while at the same time pushing the boundaries of contemporary theatre with its non-choreographed style of production. Like the Group Theatre, The Company creates heightened authentic human behavior on stage or “Life in Fiction” as we like to call it. Our actors truly live in the moment, so no two performances are ever the same.

The Company creates an entertaining environment and a thought-provoking experience where each audience member can feel like a 'fly on the wall', watching the lives and events of real people in real situations unfold (and sometimes unravel) right before their eyes.

The Company’s Winter One-Act Comedy Festival

Opens:   January 26, 2019

Theatre: Hackensack Performing Arts Center, 102 State Street, Hackensack, NJ 07601

Running Time: 120 minutes, one intermission

Schedule: 2 shows only. Saturday, January 26 at 8pm

and Sunday, January 27 at 3pm.

Audience: Children under 4 are not permitted into the theatre.

Children under 16 not permitted without parent.

Ticket prices: $20 at the door if available.

Reserved Seating:

For more information, please visit The Company Theatre Group’s website at: and Facebook page:

Monday, January 7, 2019

2019 Benefit for Pioneer Productions in Fair Lawn


All Youth Production of Classic Novel, A WRINKLE IN TIME at Growing Stage

The Growing Stage, The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey, located in the Historic Palace Theatre on Route 183 in Netcong, New Jersey is proud to present the Studio Series Presentation of A WRINKLE IN TIME from January 17th through 20th with performances at 7:30 PM on Thursday and Friday, and matinees at 4:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday.   Based on A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L’Engle, this adaptation is by Tracy Young. The production is directed and choreographed by Jillian Petrie, TGS Teaching Artist and Company Choreographer.

Join us as we bring Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved novel, A WRINKLE IN TIME from the page to the stage thanks to Tracy Young’s innovative adaptation.  Meg joins forces with Mrs. Whatsit, Charles Wallace, Calvin O’Keefe, and more to battle the forces of evil so she can rescue her father, save humanity and find herself.  This production is a full-length play, using dance and movement to help tell the story.

A WRINKLE IN TIME is an all youth production featuring 26 young performers hailing from Hunterdon, Morris, Sussex and Warren counties.  This production is a part of our Studio Presentation Series.  This series initiated in the fall of 2009 has succeeded in engaging both patrons and artists. Targeted for specific-aged audiences rather than the wide-reaching family fare of the Main Stage, the series provides community artists with a unique opportunity to participate in the creative process of “trying out” new, more experimental works under the direction of our professional artists. This program allows our company to both cultivate new talent and challenge audiences.

Tickets for A WRINKLE IN TIME are $15 for Adults and $12 for Children & Seniors, with group rates available.  Tickets can be purchased by calling the TGS Box Office at (973) 347-4946 or visiting  The Growing Stage – The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey programs are made possible, in part, by funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts,

Chester Playwrights present Evening of One-Act Plays This Weekend

by Stephen Catron, Jeff Jackson, Lauri Macmillan & Dan Jennings, Chris Mortenson, and Rachel Lichter

January 12 at 8:00 PM
January 13 at 2:00 PM



Stephen Catron

Beth Amiano Gleason

Bob Longstreet

Claudia Metz

Jessica Phelan

Sky Spiegel Monroe


Stephen Catron and Ellen Fraker-Glasscock

Stage Manager
Karen Catron

Lighting/Sound Operation
Samantha Manno



Jan 12: The Phantom Tollbooth (Kids ‘N Family Performance)
Milo unexpectedly receives a phantom toll booth one afternoon and drives his toy car through it. He is transported to a magical land where he learns valuable lessons in life and discovers a love of learning. South Orange Performing Arts Center, One SOPAC Way, South Orange. 2pm.Tickets: $20. 973.313.2787.

Jan 12: Aaron Neville Duo
New Orleans-born Aaron Neville brings his unmistakable sound, heard in classic ballads like “Tell It Like It Is” and “Don’t Know Much” – his hit duo with Linda Ronstadt – to the intimate SOPAC stage in an evening of sublime artistry.  Slipping easily from Funky to R&B and Soul, Aaron Neville is surely one of the most distinctive vocal stylists of all time. South Orange Performing Arts Center, One SOPAC Way, South Orange. 8pm. $58-$78. 973.313.2787.

Jan 13: Juilliard @ SOPAC: Trio Umami
Three of the greatest composers of the Romantic period will be featured in this concert by Trio Umami.  Acclaimed young artists Tal First (violin), Tomsen Su (cello) and Ilya Laskin (piano) will bring to brilliant life works by Ludwig von Beethoven, Cesar Franck and Robert Schumann. South Orange Performing Arts Center, One SOPAC Way, South Orange. 3pm.Tickets: $20. 973.313.2787.

Jan 20: Jazz in the Loft: MPack
MPack is a band, a brand, and a musical production enterprise, consisting of multiple elements in an ever evolving flow. MPack is the musical brainchild of bassist, guitarist, keyboardist, drummer and vocalist Clarence 'Groove Master' Conover. He's the founder, leader, and vocalist of the Clarence Conover Project, the MPack Band and the founder and CEO of M-Pack Music productions whose motto is "Life Changing Sounds'.  This cross-genre musician, Clarence "M-Pack" Conover is creatively talented and has gathered other likeminded musicians and vocalists-Joe Scarpitto {bassist), Chris "Baby Funk" Meagher (guitarist & vocalist), Gordon Lane (drummer) and Patricia Walton (vocalist) to create this musical phenomenon known as MPack. South Orange Performing Arts Center, One SOPAC Way, South Orange. 7pm.Tickets: $20. 973.313.2787.

Jan 24-Feb 3: American Theater Group’s Tell Them I’m Still Young
Two-time Emmy Award winner Andre Braugher and Tony Award winner Michele Pawk star in this compelling world premiere drama. A professor and a poet’s marriage is shaken when tragedy strikes. As they grapple with the aftermath, a lover from the past and an ambitious graduate student enter their lives. South Orange Performing Arts Center, One SOPAC Way, South Orange. Tickets: $35-$39. 973.313.2787.

Jan 27: Blues in the Loft: King Solomon Hicks
At the age of 13 Solomon started playing with the Cotton Club 17-piece band as Lead Guitarist and still continues to perform there. Along with being called “Lil’ B.B.” he played the KISS Kruise V, 2017 Joe Bonamassa Blues Cruise, Spain [Festival Blues De Be Bar-Blues CAZORLA-San Javier], Jazz Marciac in France, and the Tokyo Cotton Club. Solomon has performed with Tony Bennett, The Destroyers (George Thorogood), Neal Evans (Soulive), Jimmy Vivino (Bandleader for Conan O’Brien), Sam Moore, Marcus King, Stax Songwriter William Bell, John Nemeth, Blind Boy Paxton, Roger Earl (Foghat), Kim Simmonds (Savoy Brown), Davey Knowles, Ne-Yo, Jon Hendricks, Mike Stern and Lee Ritenour.
South Orange Performing Arts Center, One SOPAC Way, South Orange. 7pm.Tickets: $20. 973.313.2787.

La Cinematheque: Chinese Film Series
This new film series will explore four important films from China. Each film will discuss the cultural, and political aspect of the country, but most importantly the artistic and human content. Discussion follows the screening in the Loft at SOPAC. 2pm. $60 for all four screenings. 973.313.2787.

Feb 3: A Simple Life (directed by Anna Hui, 2011)
A film producer helps care for his family’s lifelong servant after she suffers a stroke and must move into a nursing home. South Orange Performing Arts Center, One SOPAC Way, South Orange.

Luna Stage kicks off 2019 with World Premiere of Christina Gorman’s Roan @ The Gates - An exploration of internet privacy

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Luna Stage will launch 2019 with the World Premiere of Christina Gorman’s cyber-security romance Roan @ The Gates by, directed by Michelle Tattenbaum. An exploration of internet privacy and the risks of whistleblowing, this suspenseful new play examines the cost of doing the right thing.

Inspired by a shadowy photograph of Edward Snowden's girlfriend, Roan @ The Gates is a fictional investigation into cyber-security. Roan is a data analyst for the NSA, and her wife, Nat, is a lawyer committed to human rights advocacy. When their personal life collides with national security, it launches a beautiful, high-stakes adventure that illuminates the cost of secrecy.

Roan @ The Gates springs from my alarm at the rapid pace at which our supposedly private online data is being swept up and catalogued by individuals, companies, and governments,” says playwright Christina Gorman. “Now that virtually everything about ourselves exists in electronic form, is the battle already lost? Is the very notion of privacy gone for good?”

Michelle Tattenbaum, the play’s director, adds “We’re all inhabiting two worlds at once. Living two lives at once. We're living our tangible, physical lives, in our homes, with our loved ones, and then we are living a virtual life that is hidden from us, the life of all the data points we accumulate and disseminate by our actions. And this play tells the story of a couple whose tangible, physical life is devoured by their life of data and computing.”

Gorman is fascinated by whistleblowers. “What are the personal consequences of making such a radical gesture? What happens not only to the idealistic individual, but to the loved ones who are forced to live with the aftermath? And, in the end, is the action of a whistleblower selfless…or selfish?”

Luna’s new Artistic Director Ari Laura Kreith chose the play for her inaugural season because “Roan @ The Gates inspires us to look at our own relationships to moral choices, and ask ‘What matters to me enough that I would risk everything to do what is right? What is the moral breaking point for me?’ These questions are terrifying but vital.”

Roan @ The Gates is the third play in Luna’s 2019-2020 season, which centers around the question of how we bridge cultural divides. Each play is set in at least two locations (Roan takes place in Washington D.C. and Russia) and grapples with contemporary human connection and communication. Earlier this season Luna produced J.Stephen Brantley’s Pirira, set simultaneously in the African nation of Malawi and midtown Manhattan, and Camilo Almonacid’s The Assignment, an interview-inspired piece exploring gun violence and reconciliation. Coming in April is Gabriel Jason Dean’s Heartland, set in Nebraska and Afghanistan, which explores family, loss, and love.

Tickets are $16-39, and are available at or by calling 973 395 5551. A limited number of premium Opening Night tickets are available for $59, including the post-show party with cast and creative team.


Christina Gorman’s plays include Fidelis (The Public Theater); American Myth (American Blues Theater, Theatre Artists Studio, winner of TCG Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award); On the Outs (Ensemble Studio Theater); Split Wide Open (NYC Summer Play Festival), and she is currently at work on her new play Shiver, about a woman obsessed with recovering her partner’s body from the death zone of Mount Everest. Gorman is an inaugural member of The Public Theater Emerging Writers Group, a former New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow, Ensemble Studio Theatre New Voices Fellow, Stella Adler Studios Harold Clurman Playwright-in-Residence, and Women’s Project Playwright Lab member. She is an Artistic Affiliate at American Blues Theater. She is published by Samuel French.

Michelle Tattenbaum most recently directed Peter and the Starcatcher at Cape Fear Regional Theatre. Previous projects with Itamar Moses include the world premiere of the musical Nobody Loves You at the Old Globe (San Diego Theatre Critics Circle nomination: Best Director) and the NY premiere at Second Stage; Love/Stories (World Premiere, The Flea) and The Four of Us (LA Premiere, Firefly: Theater & Films). Ms. Estrada by the Q Brothers Collective (World Premiere) at the Flea, where she is an Associate Artist. Member: SDC. Two-time Drama League Directing Fellow.

Ari Laura Kreith recently directed Luna’s production of Pirira. She is also the founder and Artistic Director of Theatre 167, where she conceived and directed The Jackson Heights Trilogy — three full-length plays collaboratively written by 18 playwrights featuring 37 actors in 93 roles in 14 languages. NYC World Premieres: Mourning Sun (Theatre 167/Uganda), Pirira, Tina Howe’s Singing Beach. European premiere: Adam Guettel’s Myths and Hymns. Immersive, site-specific: Queens Museum, NY Transit Museum; touring excerpts of Marina Budhos’ novel Watched. Commissions: New Ohio; Queens Theatre.  LPTW Lucille Lortel Visionary Award; NYIT Caffe Cino Fellowship. BA: Yale, MFA: UC Davis, Member:

Luna Stage develops and produces vibrant plays about local and global experiences. Luna brings communities together for artistic events that catalyze conversations and create understanding and change. Firmly rooted in New Jersey's Valley Arts District of Orange and West Orange—a crossroads of cultures—the Company celebrates the diverse voices that surround us. Luna Stage is dedicated to eliminating barriers to participation and nurturing the next generation of audiences and artists.

Luna’s classes for children and adults, and its developmental programs for early career artists, inspire community members to nurture their own creativity and vision.

Luna Stage has contributed to the development of over 80 new works for the stage, earning a reputation for artistic excellence. Some of those plays have gone on to productions in New York City and beyond. Luna’s unique approach to producing, as well as the work itself, fosters an environment of inclusivity, understanding, and infinite possibility.

Roan @ The Gates, a world premiere by Christina Gorman

Directed by Michelle Tattenbaum

At Luna Stage, 555 Valley Street, West Orange, NJ | 973 395 5551

Begins: Thursday, January 31 | Opens: Saturday, February 2 | Closes: Sunday, February 24

Performance Schedule: Thursday at 7:30 pm, Friday & Saturday at 8 pm, Sunday at 3pm


Running time: 70 minutes, no intermission |